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Gas crisis, Volkswagen plans to move to Spain and Portugal

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Industrial relocation during the energy crisis: a note from the Volkswagen announces that production could move from the Wolsburg house to coasts where gas arrives with reasonable continuity, in particular Portugal and Spain. A wish that could become even more concrete in light of the mysterious incidents that today affect the gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2. The announcement is also a signal from the changed geopolitical framework caused by the Russo-Ukrainian war.

In crisis, due to energy insecurities, there are the German factories and also the factories that the German giant controls in Eastern Europe (Czech Republic and Slovakia, almost entirely dependent on supplies from Moscow). “As medium-term alternatives – he says” a company note -, we focus on greater transfer of production capacity or technical alternatives, similar to what is already common in the context of challenges related to shortage of semiconductors and other recent supply chain disruptions”.

Volkswagen focuses on i Countries that make more use of regasifiers and imports of liquefied natural gas: the company already controls factories in Portugal, Spain and Belgium and production could be moved to these countries. Under the current framework, the operation of German factories should be guaranteed for the next 5-6 months (Berlin recently announced that it 90% of its storage capacity) then to leave from June we will enter a cone of uncertainty.

The entire automotive supply chain is at risk: not only the assembly of the vehicles but also the delivery of the individual parts and materials. “Politicians must curb the currently uncontrolled explosion in gas and electricity prices,” he said Thomas Steg, Head of External Relations business – otherwise energy-intensive SMEs in particular have major problems in the supply chain e they will have to reduce or stop production“.

The German economy as a whole is facing a increase in production costs – as reported by the Bloomberg agency – 46% and other companies could follow Volkswagen’s lead: a similar strategy was suggested by plastic giant Covestro who, however, is looking at Asia. Other factories are considering changing their energy mix instead by drawing more from coal and oil.

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Source: Corriere

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